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# Centrifugal Compressors

Performance Curves
Factors that Affect Compressor
Performance
Topics
p

 H
How aC
Centrifugal
t if l works
k /E
Energy C
Conversion
i
 Performance Curves
 Operation Limits: Surge & Overload
 Factors Affecting Compressor Performance
 Operational Iss
Issues
es – Optimizing
Optimi ing Compressor
Efficiency
How A Centrifugal Works
Centrifugal Stage

Return Bend

Return Bend
Diffuser
Reduces Velocity
Increases Static Pressure

Return Channel
Impeller
p
Increases Velocity
Increases Static Pressure
Guide Vanes
How A Centrifugal Works
How A Centrifugal Works
Energy Conversion

P4,V4,T4
P5,V1,T5
P3,V1,T3

P5,V1,T5
P2,V4,T2

P1,V1,T1

P3,V1,T3
 Mechanical: The “work” (energy) developed to raise a
weight of 1 pound by a distance of one (1) foot. Expressed
in foot-pound (or equivalent Kgm or Nm);
Gas Compressors: “ work” done by the compressor /
amount of gas. The head expressed in feet, is the height to
which
hi h the
th gas could
ld b
be lift
lifted
d
 The height to which the gas is lifted depends on the velocity
of the gas
 For any given RPM, the head developed by the compressor
is fairly constant,
constant independent of the gas nature
nature.
 Head is depending upon:
• Compressor
C geometry
t (i.e.
(i no off stages,
t impeller
i ll didiameters)
t )
• Compressor speed
Z: Compressibility Factor
R: Gas Constant = 1545 / MW
Ts: Suction Temperature (°R)

## M: r: Pressure Ratio (Pd / Ps)

M Polytrophic
M: P l hi EExponent
Head Concept – Example
Performance Curves

 Basic Components
 Fixed/Variable Speed
p
 Effects on Performance
Compressor
p Performance Curves illustrates the
operating range and flexibility of a given compressor

120%
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

100%
105%
Pressure, P

100%
90% 95%
90%
85%
80%

70%

60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Compressor Performance Curves
There are two types of curves that are generally required
required,
section and overall:
• section refers to an impeller or sequence of impellers between two
nozzles such that there is no pressure drop or temp reduction
between impellers
• overall refers to a complete compressor or compressor train
Note: a back-to-back unit with a crossover may often be considered a
two section compressor; but with respect to performance curves
two-section curves, it is a
single section since no pressure drop or cooling is introduced between
the impellers

## For single section compressors, the section curves and

overall curves are one in the same
Design Point is the point at which usual operation is
expected
t d and
d optimum
ti efficiency
ffi i iis . It iis th
the point
i t att which
hi h
the vendor certifies that performance is within the tolerance
120%
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

100%
Pressure, P

90%

80%

70%

60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Rated Point is intersection on the 100 % speed line
corresponding
di to the
h hi
highest
h flflow off any operating
i point
i

120%
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

100%
Pressure, P

90%

80%

70%

60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Stability: the percent of change in capacity between the rated (design
point) capacity and surge (limit) point
point, all at constant speed
speed, is measured as
the stability of the centrifugal compressor. Indicates the capability of the
centrifugal compressor to operate at less than design flow
120%
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

100%
Pressure, P

90%

80%

70%

60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Turndown: the percent of change in capacity between the rated
(Design point) capacity and the surge (limit) point, all at constant head or
pressure is measured as turndown of the centrifugal compressor. Indicates
the capability of the centrifugal compressor to operate at less than design
flow 120%
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

100%
Pressure, P

90%

80%

70%

60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Rise to Surge:
Surge: the percent of change in discharge pressure between
the rated point and surge limit at constant speed
speed. High RTS means the
compressor can accommodate a modest increase in discharge pressure
with a little change in flow
120%
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

100%
Pressure, P

90%

80%

70%

60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Surge
g Phenomenon
 At any given speed, there is minimum flow, below which, the
compressor cannott be
b operatedt d in
i a stable
t bl condition.
diti Thi
This
minimum flow value is called “surge “ point.
 Surge is oscillation of the entire flow of the compressor
system and this oscillation can be detrimental to the machine.
 Compressor surge may be evidenced by the following:
a) Excessive rotor vibration
b) Increasingly higher process gas temp
c) Rapid changes in axial thrust
d) Sudden changes in load
e) Audible sounds (if surge is severe)
Surge
g – Damage
g of Compressor
p Internals

High
g axial displacement
p

## Deformation due to high

temperature
Resistance to Flow Causes

## Surge Description Pressure to Rise Which

Causes Flow to Decrease
Sudden Reversal of Flow
Slams Thrust Disc Against
120% Inactive Thrust Bearing
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

## Pressure Builds along the

100%
Design Curve Back
to the Design Point
Pressure, P

90%

80%

## Pressure Ratio Drops Low Enough

70% for Flow to Instantaneously
Build Back to the Design Curve
60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Surge
The frequency of the surge cycle varies inversely with the
volume of the system
 If the check valve is located near compressor discharge
nozzle, the frequency will be much higher than of a system
with a large
g volume in the discharge
g upstream of the check
valve
 The higher
g frequency
q y of the surge,
g , the intensity
y will be
lower (i.e. few cycles / minute up to more than 20 cycles /
sec)
 The intensity of the surge increases with gas density ,
pressure and lower temperature
Surge - Effects of Gas Composition
Best Efficiency point

E%
Heavy Gas (propane, propylene)
Medium Gas (air, nitrogen, natural gas)
Light Gas (Hydrogen reach gases, i.e.
hydrocarbon processing plants)

Surge points

Q
Surge - Effects of Gas Composition

## Observations made in respect to the heavy

gas:
 Th flow
The fl at surge iis hi
higher;
h
 The stage produces more head than
corresponding to medium gas / light gas
 The right
Th i ht side
id off the
th curve tturns d
downward
d
(approaches stonewall) more rapidly
The curve is flatter in the opening stage (small
RTS)
Surge Control

IInputt Signals
Si l RRequired
i d
1 - Suction Flow
2 - Suction Pressure
3 - Discharge Pressure
Suction
Flow Element
Flow Pressure PT Pressure PT
Transmitter FT Transmitter Transmitter Discharge

PC G D A AC G E
Recycle SP B I I OO B T
Valve U C MCH

Surge Control
I/P In the PLC
Surge
g Control

## Surge Controller Performance

Map
External Causes and Effects of Surge
g

##  Restriction in suction or discharge

g of system
y
 Process changes in pressure, temperatures, or gas MW
 Internal plugging of flow passages of compressor (fouling)
 Inadvertent loss of speed
 Instrument or control valve malfunction
 Operator error
 Misdistribution of load in parallel operation
 Improper assembly of compressor (impeller overlap)
Restriction in Suction / Discharge
Parallel Operation
 Typically, for parallel operation, the flow is not split evenly and one
section or compressor handles more flow than the other, but both
sections
ti are required
i d tto make
k th
the same pressure ratio ti
 Careful analysis of the pressure ratio curves is required to insure
satisfactory operation and suitable overall range

## “similar pressure ratio curves”

• At the design flow
flow, section (1) is
much more flow than of section (2)
• If the total flow is reduced 10%,
the compressor slows down to
maintain the same pressure ratio
• The
Th flow
fl to
t each
h section
ti iis
reduced 10% (dashed line) since
the pressure ratio curves have a
approximately the same rise
“different pressure ratio curves” (section 2 pressure ratio curve is
steeper
p than section 1))
• If the total flow is reduced 10% the compressor slows down to maintain
pressure ratio
• Section (1) reduces more than 10% ( about 12.5% - the dashed line)
since its curve is shallower
• Section (2) reduces less than 10% (about 5% - dashed line) since its
curve is steeper
• The two sections are now
operating at significantly different
portions of the curve and are now
handling a different percentage of
the total flow than they were at the
design point
point.
• Section (1) is nearing surge.
Further reduction in flow would
force section one into surge
• The difference in the curve
shape results in a reduced overall
range for parallel operation
Impeller
p Overlap
p with Diffuser
Impeller Overlap with Diffuser

## Positive overlap Nominal Non Desirable

Limited Desired Limited
Impeller Overlap with Diffuser

##  It is preferable that no impeller shall have negative overlap

 The negative overlap is limited to 5% of the impeller tip
Instrument / Control System
y Malfunction

120%
Ratio

110%
Pressure R

100%
105%
Pressure, P

100%
90% 95%
90%
85%
80%

70%

60%

## 60% 80% 90% 100% 120%

% Inlet Capacity or Flow
Choke Limit
 Choke is the maximum flow that a centrifugal compressor
can handle at a given speed
speed. At that point
point, the compressor is
unable to produce any net overall pressure ratio.
 The maximum flow region of the compressor performance
curve is where the gas speeds approach Mach 1
 Gas compression
G i iis no llonger occurring
i iin th
the compression
i
channels. This region of the curve, as it becomes almost
vertical at the choke limit,
limit is also know as “Stonewall”
Stonewall
 Stonewall is usually not detrimental to the compressor, it
simply limits the maximum flow
flow. If choke occurs at an off
design condition, the maximum volume flow can be increased
byy increasing
g the rotational speed
p
API 617 7th Edition – Performance
Curves
Performance Curves – Inlet Gas
Condition Effects
Performance Curves – Inlet Gas
Condition Effects
Factors Affecting Compressor
Performance
 MW & Head - If MW increases,
increases the head for a given ratio will decrease
in direct proportion
 Temp
e p & Head
ead - If tthe
e Tss increases,
c eases, tthe
o ag
given
e ratio
at o will
increase in direct proportion
 Zave & Head - If the average compressibility increases, the head will
increase in direct proportion
 N and Head - If speed increases, the head will increase in direct
proportion
Flow and Speed - If the speed increases, the flow will increase in direct
proportion
Factors Affecting Compressor
Performance
 N & BHP - If the speed increases,
increases the BHP will increase in
proportion to the cube of the speed. (Because flow increases
directlyy as speed
p and head increases as the square
q of the
speed and BHP is the product of head X mass flow)
 Density
e s ty - The
eoonly
y tthing
g a co
compressor
p esso impeller
pe e sees iss inlet
et
capacity. Thus to get more capacity out of an existing
compressor it is necessary to change the density of the inlet
by:
• decreasing the suction temperature
• increasing the suction pressure
• increasing the MW of the gas
Compressor Off - Design Performance
 Performance curves for axial and centrifugal
g
compressors are usually based on constant inlet
conditions (Ps, Ts, MW). In actual service, these
compressors rarely
l see th
these b
base curve conditions
diti
exactly
 If the field inlet conditions deviate more then 5% from
the curve inlet conditions then the field data can not be
accurately plotted on the curve without converting the field
data to curve conditions
 To properly
T l evaluate
l t th
the compressor (running
( i offff
design), the performance parameters shall be corrected to
the design conditions
Operation Limitations

Compressor

Driver

Power

Process
Compressor Operation Issues-
Issues-
Efficiency Drop

 Internal recycle
 U t
Un-tuned d Surge
S Control
C t lS System
t
 Leakage via by-pass valve(s) in process
 Compressor operated out of “guaranteed
performance envelope”
p p
 Impeller & Diaphragm erosion
 Fouling
Internal Recycle – Gap at the
diaphragm / guides splits
Internal Recycle – Gap at the
diaphragm / guides splits
Labyrinth Leakage
Leakage proportional to:
• P
• Clearance
• Diameter
•1 / (No.Laby Teeth)0.5

## Eye laby leakage is

approx. 10 times
spacer laby leakage

Eye Laby
Leakage
Spacer Laby
S L b
Leakage
Internal Recycle – Labyrinth Clearance

## Process labyrinths can

be p
plugged
gg by y wet
particles in the gas flow
Internal Recycle – Labyrinth Clearance
Shaft Spacer

Impeller Cover
Internal Recycle – Labyrinth Clearance

Impeller Cover
PEEK Labyrinth
PEEK Physical Properties
GRADE COEF. TENSILE ELONGATION SPECIFIC
THERMAL STRENGTH (%) GRAVITY
EXPNSION (PSI)
(F)
Arlon CP 17 x 10 /-6 11,080 2.0 1.45
T l
Torlon 18 8
18.8 12 900
12,900 66
6.6 1 44
1.44
4340
Fluorosint 19.4 1,100 10.0 2.32
500
Un-- tuned Surge Control System
Un

##  Recycle valve shall be calibrated at every planned S/D

• fast opening ( < 1 sec)
• total travel 0-100 %; 4 – 20 mA
• mechanical
h i l stop
t tto coincide
i id with
ith 100 % close
l
 Valve positioner shall match the command
 FT instrument shall be calibrated at every planned S/D
 Flow calculation block – correct constants
constants, correct range
Fouling
… is the deposit and the non –uniform accumulation of
debris in the gas
 Occurs due to carryy over of liquids
q and debris from the
inlet suction scrubber
 Polymerization may occur in wet gas and cracked gas
compressors applications if the temperature exceeds the
critical point beyond the polymerization process occurs
(235 F)
 Fouling
g build up
p occurs usually
y on the impeller
p hub and
shroud. There is also a build up on the blades ( on the
pressure side)
Fouling

## IGV partially clogged 1st stage impeller – hard deposits

Fouling
g Effects – Charge
g Gas

Fouling
g Effects

## Abrasive Scoring due to Fouling

Fouling
g Effects – Charge
g Gas

## 3M7 - Deterioration of stage clearances

Techniques
q to Prevent Fouling
g

## Condition monitoring, both aerodynamic and

mechanical parameters
 Process control
 Online solvent injection
 Coatings of Impellers and Diaphragms
Fouling - Condition Monitoring
(aerodynamic and mechanical parameters)

##  Monitor and trend the information regarding

process conditions
• MW
• Pressure
• Temperature

 Vibration monitoring
• On
O line
li system
t
• Off line system
ONLINE CONDITIONING
MONITORING
Condition Monitoring – DR CPM Online System
Condition Monitoring – DR CPM Online System
Condition Monitoring – DR CPM Online System
Condition Monitoring – DR CPM Online System
Condition Monitoring – DR RECON Online System
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